Inktober: Mixing it up

October 24, 2016 | 4 Comments

Still plugging away, doing what I can each day to fulfill my Inktober ‘requirements’ without putting any pressure on myself.

Tuesday: This sketch is a little hard to see owing to the fine lines of a Rotring technical pen – it’s just a random sketch of some of my paintbrushes. I recently bought a cheap set on eBay thanks to my friend Keren (a doodle artist who uses technical pens all the time) as my old rapidographs were unusable. Sometimes I want a fine ink line but… wow! I have to draw slowly with these pens. Smoother paper would help too. For those art supply junkies looking at this sketch, there are a few Rosemary & Co daggers and a squirrel mop, as well as a Da Vinci No. 10 travel brush.

Wednesday: I need to drink more water, hence my choice of subject matter. I went crazy with some cyan and blue De Atramentis ink (using a small synthetic brush) and then tried to put some white acrylic ink over the top. I still haven’t clicked with painting with ink yet, but it is fun trying something different.

Thursday: No sketch in my sketchbook, but here is a blind contour I did in preparation for an architect’s workshop on Friday (more about that soon). Blind contours are normally used as an exercise for beginners or as a warm up, and they usually generate a little laugh. But perhaps, we should take them more seriously – don’t we all wish our eye-hand coordination was spot-on accurate? Mine certainly is not, and so my blind contour drawings are normally crazy. So imagine my surprise and delight when I actually drew this sketch blind and ended up at the same spot where I started. I was obviously in the groove and working at the right pace.

Friday: Another sketch-free day in my sketchbook (well apart from my daily latte of course) so here is a blind contour sketch that I did during the workshop. This was lovely to draw – feeling the edges of the roses and the side of the vase.

Saturday: I am really focusing on getting more sleep and have been going to bed around 9.30pm. I am also trying to make sure I have no screen time for an hour beforehand and stick to a new rule: “No iphone in the bedroom.” So anyway, to wean myself off evening kindle reading as well as using my phone, I roamed my bookshelves and pulled out a few random books that looked interesting to start reading/re-reading. Here is the collection drawn late at night with a black brush pen. I don’t really like very heavy black inky sketches in my own work but this year Inktober is all about experimenting.

I know that the titles are obscured (that was part of the plan) but I can tell you that this collection contains 4 x Le Corbusier books, 2 x Frank Lloyd Wright books, 1 x Louis Kahn book, 4 x history of architecture books, 2 x creativitiy(art) books, 1 x teaching book, 2 x business books, 1 x book of aerial photograph/analysis of the American landscape, 1 x Ruskin on Venice book (wasn’t sure how to characterise those last two books but they are both books I can pick up and start reading at any page)

Monday (today): My latte in coloured ink. My colours were not right, but it was a lot of fun.

So another minimal week. How about you, are you in a rhythm or you mixing it up?


  • Keren Duchan says:

    Oh, you used the technical pen! Did you get the rapidograph (with cartridges) or the isograph (refill with liquid ink)? Brought a smile to my face and thanks for mentioning me 🙂 I can definitely relate to the scratchiness of these pens on paper. I still very much want to get a fountain pen – I just need to either drive to the art supply store (not sure if they have what I want), or get one online from overseas (expensive shipping cost). But there’s nothing like the blackness of the black technical pen ink. I would assume that for very fast drawing it would be hard to use! Especially the finer tipped ones which are scratchier. Will you ever use it again?

    • Liz Steel says:

      Hi keren,
      I had a very odd mistake in my isograph set- the 0.5mm was a rapidograph without a nib. But all sorted now as they sent me a nnew 0.5 isograph. So funny that the fault was with your favourite! They would never work for fast sketching, but if I wanted to do some very fine detail lines they would be great. That is why I bought them….and well emotional attachment to the good old days as an architect!

  • Keren Duchan says:

    Oh, and I think the water bottle sketch came out great!

  • Tracy Fisher says:

    I like the water bottle sketch too. I’m still doing inktober also, some sketches turn out better than others of course, and i hope it will be a habit i will keep. Not every day probably but more than i had been before. I found out through doing inktober that my favorite things to sketch are dogs and moments from my week, like a little visual journal.

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